resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
January, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 01
Massage Chairs: Fad, Fixture or Therapeutic Tool?
By Raymond Blaylock
The debate goes on. Some people still consider massage chairs, and the work performed on them, a form of "fluff and buff" massage, not true therapeutic massage. Some would offer that seated massage is a good marketing tool to get people into the office or clinic to get some "real" massage.
My original introduction to the use of a massage chair was during a time when my practice was located within a physical therapy rehab center in Monterey, Calif. So my frame of reference to the use of a massage chair was for people who were so physically uncomfortable that it was not possible for them to lie down on a table. In some instances my initial work was done with them on a stool. Certain types of dysfunction such as whiplash, rotator cuff injury rehab and low back discomfort seemed to present instances where the positioning on a massage chair made the massage work easier to perform and less of an energy drain on my body.
The original massage chairs in this country, and all chairs since (save for a couple of exceptions), have been designed on the concept of the back-saver chair that became popular in the early 1980s. You remember the design; a chair with no back and a slanted seat with slanted kneepads for the legs. The design was the brainchild of a Danish orthopedist, with the thought being in this position you could not "slouch" and your vertebrae were "stacked" in a fairly straight column. The chair was done for people who were spending many hours sitting at a desk doing repetitive motions with their hands above their waists, and developing the compensatory low back discomfort and cervical immobility that is associated with that type of position.
The Danish orthopedist theorized that the position in the back-saver chair relieved about 70 percent of the pressure at L-5, S-1. Although the back-saver chairs never became a large market, home versions were developed, and high-tech Sharper Image versions exist today, but research never could verify the stated hypothesis.
My experience has been that it is an effective position for individuals with low back pain. At just about every show that I have ever done over the last 17 years, I have had at least one individual who was complaining of low back discomfort tell me that the discomfort had significantly subsided after they had sat down on the chair, many times before I had even had them lean forward into the chest pad and headrest.
In the rehab setting, the chair was very significant in that I could get the chair to fit each individual according to his or her body size and type. I could put them into a supported position with the weight and pressure off L-5,S-1. A two-fold advantage exists due to the seat and leg position design of the chair and the effect on the lumbar area; and the weight and pressure release on the cervical area, due to the position and support of the head in the adjustable headrest. When the client is properly positioned, the spine is in this supported position allowing the muscles of the client's back and neck to relax, releasing biomechanical tension. The spine is ideally reasonably straight after you adjust the client in the chair with a line drawn along the lateral body from the center of the ear through the greater trochanter. The pressure on the cervical area and the lumbar region is reduced dramatically. Actually, in this position you can usually detect hypertonic tissue like a "speed bump." Plus, I think that if you just left them in the chair for 10-15 minutes in this position they would experience a certain level of release without even putting your hands on their bodies. When we do begin to use our hands, the position in the chair has helped them to become relaxed and has already relieved some of the existing tension in the cervical area and the lumbar region. In effect, the chair has already done some of the work for us.
I have found that most upper body work can be performed in a massage chair more efficiently, with about a quarter to a half the energy expenditure on my part needed for table work. For some of the work on the hand, arm and shoulders, I can actually sit down while being incredibly effective.
It has been said, "You can't build a house with just a hammer." I am assuming this would include "remodeling," too. For myself, after 36 years of doing bodywork, I know I need tools to assist me in my continued proficiency and longevity in this profession.
Perhaps it is time for you to take another look at the massage chair in a different light. When I say we can do business everywhere, what about other countries and customs related to touch? Take a look at this link to a Web site called the Business of Touch: www.businessoftouch.com.
Raymond Blaylock, practitioner and educator, is the director of education at the Touch Resource Institute. He may be contacted by email
or through his Web site: www.mytouchresources.com.
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